By Muhammad Mussa
LONDON (AA) - Actress Minnie Driver has become the first celebrity patron to resign from Oxfam amid the sexual misconduct scandal.
The 48-year-old actress, who was one of 16 ambassadors representing the charity, had been working with Oxfam for more than 20 years.
“All I can tell you about this awful revelation about Oxfam is that I am devastated. Devastated for the women who were used by people sent there to help them, devastated by the response of an organization that I have been raising awareness for since I was 9 years old #oxfamscandal,” she wrote on Twitter.
Oxfam has been accused of covering up an inquiry into whether its staff engaged in illegal prostitution with underage victims in Haiti after the 2011 earthquake.
An investigation by The Times found that Oxfam allowed three men to resign and sacked four others for gross misconduct for sexual exploitation, downloading explicit photographs, bullying and intimidation.
Her position as ambassador saw her travel to countries such as Cambodia and Thailand to shed light on the work of the international charity as well attend the Make Trade Fair Again campaign.
She had also previously attended high profile fundraising events in New York and Los Angeles.
In a statement given to local media, Driver said: “I am nothing short of horrified by the allegations against Oxfam International.
“In no uncertain terms do I plan to continue my support of this organization or its leaders. And though it is unfortunate that after 20 years I am no longer able to advocate and defend through this specific framework, social and economic injustice is more globally prevalent than ever.
“I certainly will not let the abhorrent mistakes of a troubling organization stop me or anyone else from working with good people in this space to support a population of human beings around the world that needs our help”.
Driver’s move came as the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is to meet investigators from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to discuss the scandal as pressure mounts over the revelations.
Speaking at the End Violence Solutions Summit in Stockholm, Mordaunt said she would attend a meeting with the NCA after appointments with charity leaders, regulators and experts regarding the scandal at Oxfam.
“The sexual exploitation of vulnerable people, vulnerable children, is never acceptable. But when it is perpetrated by people in positions of power, people we entrust to help and protect, it rightly sickens and disgusts. And it should compel us to take action.
“The recent revelations about Oxfam, not solely the actions perpetrated by a number of those staff but the way the organization responded to those events – should be a wake up call to the sector,” she said in the speech.